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EFCC Knows I Didn't Spend Kwara Election Funds, Says Belgore

Sahara Reporters - 12 April 2019 - 2:22pm


Dele Belgore in Lagos Federal High Court, Ikoyi

Muhammad Dele Belgore, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) facing criminal trial for his alleged involvement in the 2015 presidential election, says the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) knows he did not use the funds released for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential election campaign in Kwara for personal expenses.

Belgore said this while giving testimony in his own trial before Justice Rilwan Aikawa sitting at the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Friday.

The embattled lawyer said he gave the anti-graft agency all the information about who got what share of the money and the purpose it was meant for “as a matter of helping their investigations”.

He reiterated that the funds were meant to execute the PDP presidential campaign in Kwara.

He said at no time did the EFCC interview any of the people he had mentioned to ascertain the claim that he disbursed any money to them.

He said: “I deny the charges/counts in their entireties. The information that I gave to PW 2 (EFCC  prosecutor) in my statement as to those who took possession, disbursed, and used the N450m which is the subject of these charges, was never pursued by PW 2,” Belgore said during cross-examination by his counsel, Ebun Sofunde (SAN).

“(The PW2) had information of who took the money and what it was used for and he did nothing about it. So I totally denied count one to nine. I told EFCC these persons were the ones who disbursed them. EFCC never interviewed any of these persons to confirm whether I ever gave them any money. My exhibit did state the names of those who collected the money from the bank but I never said I disbursed any money.”

Belgore reiterated that his only link to the money was his signing for its arrival at the bank as the Kwara State coordinator for the PDP/Goodluck Jonathan Presidential Campaign.

He denied making any cash payment to anybody, saying the N450m was disbursed by representatives of the party who had been mandated to do so.

He added: “As the coordinator, I merely facilitated the receipt of the money (from the bank) to ensure that the funds are used across the entire 16 LGs of the state. A list was then drawn up in which each LG was named, the amount allocated to each LG based on their size, number of polling units and so on, and against each LG, two persons were nominated to collect money from the bank on behalf of the LGs. I then collected that list and it was sent to PW1 (Bank Manager) the next day Friday morning and payments were made to those persons. I was not there. That was Friday March 27. I wasn't there to make any payment to anybody.”

The last two hearings saw the full footages of the March 26 and March 27 transactions of the bank being played in the open court. Neither of the footages showed Belgore collecting the funds.

Claiming the money was a proceed of an unlawful act, EFCC had alleged that Belgore and Suleiman collected the N450m and disbursed same without going through the bank, an action the agency said violates the money laundering law.

Belgore and Suleiman denied all the charges.

Further hearings in the case have been adjourned to May 6.

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Court Remands Company MD In Prison For 'Trading In' Adulterated And Substandard Engine Oil

Sahara Reporters - 12 April 2019 - 2:08pm


Cajetan Chike Muonagolu, a businessman, has been remanded in prison custody by Justice Saliu Saidu of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos. 

He pleaded not guilty to a four-count charge bordering on dealing in adulterated and substandard engine oil.

The court admitted Muonagolu to bail in the sum of N50million with two sureties in the like sum.

While ruling on his bail application, the judge ordered his remandment pending the perfection of his bail conditions.

One of the sureties must be a civil/public servant not less than Grade Level 15 in the employment of the Federal or Lagos State Government while the other must be the defendant’s relation with landed property within the jurisdiction of the court.

The court ordered that both sureties must deposit their passport photographs with the court while Muonagolu must deposit his international passport with the court Registrar.

The prosecution and the Court Registrar are to verify the sureties’ address.

Arguing the bail application on Thursday, defence counsel Goke Olagunlehin, holding the brief of Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), urged the Court to grant his client bail.

The SON prosecution team of Babatunde Alajogun and Adeleke Olofindare opposed the bail application on the ground that Muonagolu committed another offence during the pendency of the case. 

Alajogun said Muonagolu broke and removed the official seal of SON and evacuated 15, 000 cartons of suspected adulterated/substandard engine oil which SON put on hold.

He also allegedly assaulted and beat up SON officials in the course of their lawful duties.

The court ordered the counsel for the prosecution and defence to visit the warehouse to ascertain the breaking of the seal or otherwise.

The matter was adjourned to May 20, 2019 for commencement of trial.

The Federal Government charged the defendants with four counts of production, possession, dealing in and distribution of substandard engine oil.

The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges.

In the charge, the defendants are accused of committing the offences at ASPAMDA Trade Fair Complex, Lagos Badagry Expressway Lagos State between December 12 and 13 2018.

They were accused of being in possession of 15,000 Cartons of adulterated Prime Plasma, Prime ATF and Stanley brand of engine oil which they present as being of quality.

The offences contravene Section 3 (6) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, CAP M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and Section 26 of Standards Organisation of Nigeria Act, 2015.

Part of the charge reads: “That you Cajetan Chike Muonagolu and Richbon Nigeria Limited of Plot 242, Oshodi Apapa Express Way , Odolowu Bus Stop, Lagos on or about 12/13 December 2019, while at ASPAMDA Trade Fair Complex, Lagos Badagry Expressway Lagos State Lagos State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did indulge in dealing in adulterated/substandard engine oil to wit: 15,000 Cartons and 60,00 pieces of Prime Plasma, Prime ATF and Stanley brand of Engine oil which is not of quality, substance nature or efficacy which the seller represented it to be and thereby commit an offence punishable under Section 1 (18)(ii) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, CAP M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.”

“That you Cajetan Chike Muonagolu and Richbon Nigeria Limited of Plot 242, Oshodi Apapa Express Way , Odolowu Bus Stop, Lagos on or about 12/13 December 2019, while at ASPAMDA Trade Fair Complex, Lagos Badagry Expressway Lagos State Lagos State Lagos State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did fail to comply with the Standards Organisation of Nigheria’s Conformity Assessment Programe (MANCAP) to wit; dealing in and having in possession of: 15,000 Cartons of Prime Plasma, Prime ATF and Stanley brand of adulterated/substandard engine oil”.

SON recently undertook a nationwide raid on suspected adulterated and substandard lubricants in response to a myriad of Consumer complaints and failure of engines occasioned by suspected substandard engine oils.

The arraignment of Muonagolu and his company, Richbond Nigeria Limited, follows other ongoing prosecution of standards infractions in relation to adulterated and substandard engine oils in Lagos and other parts of the country.

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Native Of Anambra, Raised In Sokoto... Nigerian Lady Breaks 100-Year Record At Indian University

Sahara Reporters - 12 April 2019 - 1:53pm


Stella Emelife Chinelo, a  2012/2013 First Class Graduate of Chemistry from Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, has emerged the best graduating student from a Master's degree from University of Mysore, India with a Final Grade Point (FGP) of 9.623%.

By this feat, the 29-year-old Anambra native who was raised in Sokoto, has broken a 100-year-old academic record at the university.

Stella's historic performance earned  her 20 gold medals and five cash prize awards at the 99th convocation of the Indian university.

Stressing the import of Stella's performance, the management of the University of Mysore said: "This is perhaps the first time in the recent years that a foreign student has bagged so many gold medals."

Back at her alma mater in Nigeria on Friday an excited Professor Abdullahi Abdu Zuru, Vice Chancellor of the Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, who was speaking at the combined 35th, 36th and 37th combined convocation awards of degrees, diplomas and certificates of UDUS, said academic excellence and standard remain the focus of the institution.

He expressed the belief that any of the current crop of students and graduands could replicate  the young Chinelo's sterling academic performance "by remembering that learning is a lifelong endeavour and its key ingredients are observation, thinking, consultation and decision making".

Speaking further on the general performance of students at the combined convocation, Zuru said that for the first time since inception, the university was producing a female first class student in physics.

He said the name of the record-breaker is Zainab Abdullahi Bashir from Katsina State, with a CGPA of 4.81 in the 2017/2018 academic session.

Students from other departments with similar impressive academic grades were listed as: Okeke Obinna Kingsley B. of  Forestry with CGPA of 4.81 in the 2015/2016 session, Andullahi Saminu Mujammad B. of Fisheries with a 4.84 CGPA in 2016/2017 session and Ojo Suleiman Adebowale who graduated  in 2017/2018 session from the Department of Mathematics with a 4.91 CGPA.

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'Public Projects, Secret Costs' — Five Things To Know About Nigerian Assembly's N139.5bn Budget Released By Saraki

Sahara Reporters - 12 April 2019 - 12:51pm


The Nigerian National Assembly

Bukola Saraki, Nigeria’s Senate President, announced the release of the National Assembly’s 2018 budget months after the other arms of government had already had their budgets scrutinised and approved by the legislature.

The Senate President on Friday said the National Assembly took the step “in accordance with the commitment of the leadership of the 8th National Assembly to accountability and transparency”.

The budget contains the summary of spending activities of the legislative arm for the budget year 2018, which will expire by June 2019.

But, what did SaharaReporters discover about the budget? Five of them below.

1. N1bn Service-Wide Vote

Seriously?

The National Assembly introduced a N1 billion service-wide vote in the 2018 budget, a deviation from what was presented as the 2017 budget.

Ben Akabueze, Nigeria’s Director-General of Budget, had previously explained service-wide vote as contingency provisions, which amounts are not fully determined and expenditure not specific to any particular agency.

Therefore, contingencies ought to have been specified since the budget was released towards the end of the 2018 budget cycle.  A breakdown of what the service-wide vote was used for would be a further step towards accountability and transparency.

2. N10billion Increase In Recurrent Expenditure

There was an increase of over N10 billion in the recurrent expenditure on the 2018 budget. In 2017, the legislative arm spent a total of N109,668,407 768 budgeted for recurrent expenditure, compared to the N119,785,052,705 budgeted for 2018. This increment is due to additions to both personal and overhead costs of the different offices in the assembly.

For instance, there was an increase of over N2 billion of the Senate’s overhead cost, as well as an addition of over N3 billion for “General Services”.

Well, a N10billion raise in just one year is suspicious, but fingers crossed. Who knows,  in his next tweet, the Senate President may show evidence of staff/equipment cost increase. 

3. Increase In Capital expenditure

There is also about N4 billion increase in the capital expenditure. In 2017, N14,940,196,063 was budgeted compared to N18,569,804,041 in 2018 budget. This, expectedly, increased the total budget cost which was N 125,000,000,000 in 2017 to N139,500,000,000 in 2018.

4. Ongoing Projects But Rising Costs

All the projects listed under capital expenditure for the National Assembly Office are tagged 'ongoing' but their costs have substantially increased from the 2017 budget. In 2017, N657,394,022 was budgeted for purchase of “motor vehicles”, same as in the recent budget.

However, N132,805,776 was added for the purchase of furniture and fittings, just as N132,805,776 was added to purchase for rehabilitation/repairs of office building that had cost N100,000,000 in 2017.

5. Projects Without Cost

The costs of all the projects, except for those listed under the Capital Expenditure for the National Assembly Office, were omitted. This makes it difficult to know how many the lawmakers are spending on particular line item. This is a step backward from the 2017 budget which was more detailed.

Why make public a budget document if the costs of projects would still remain secret?

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Atiku Ineligible To Contest Presidential Election Because He Wasn't Born A Nigerian, APC Tells Tribunal

Sahara Reporters - 12 April 2019 - 12:03pm

Atiku Abubakar, candidate of the Peoples Democratic party (PDP) in the 2019 presidential election, should have been ineligible to contest in the first place because he is not a Nigerian, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has said.

APC made this argument in its reply to the 139-page petition filed by Atiku and his party before the presidential election petition tribunal in Abuja.

In the reply, filed by Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), its lead counsel, the party said Atiku was born in Jada, now Adamawa State but then in Northern Cameroon as of his birth in 1946, and is therefore a citizen of Cameroon.

It accused the PDP of fielding a non-Nigerian as its candidate, and also faulted the competence of the petition.

APC urged the tribunal to dismiss PDP's petition for incompetence, arguing that Section 131(a) of the Constitution stipulates that a person must be a citizen of Nigeria by birth to be qualified to contest for the office of the President.

“Atiku is not a citizen of Nigeria by birth and ought not to have even been allowed in the first place to contest the election,” it said.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared President Muhammadu Buhari, candidate of the APC, winner of the election for polling 15,191,847 votes against Atiku’s 11,262,978 votes.

However, Atiku and the APC are claiming that from the data in INEC’s server, Atiku actually polled a total of 18,356,732 votes while Buhari recorded 16,741,430.

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Akeredolu Signs MoU With Member Of Dubai Ruling Family To Develop Deep Sea Port In Ilaje

Sahara Reporters - 12 April 2019 - 11:15am


As part of his move to develop the proposed Deep Sea Port in the Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, Governor of the state, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Private Office of his Highness, Sheikh Dalmook Al Maktoum, who is a member of the Dubai ruling family.

Akeredolu signed the MoU on behalf of the state government as he seeks collaboration with the United Arab Emirates in developing Ondo State and widening its investment horizon.

Akeredolu was invited on Thursday to meet with the Dubai Secretary for Foreign Trade, Ministry of Economy UAE, Abdulla Ahmed Al Saleh to discuss opportunities and potential to tap in developing Ondo.

He and his team were also invited to meet with Sheikh Maktoum and the Dubai Port Authority team on the Portondo and the bigger economy of the state.

It was at the end of the successful meeting that Akeredolu signed a deal for development of the proposed Deep Sea Port in the coastal area of Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State, the government having already completed a feasibility study.

The feasibility study prepared by the MTBS led by its Managing Director, Netherlands, Chime Asonye, and the firm’s project leader, Willem Slenderbroek, has been forwarded to the Nigeria Port Authority (NPA)

The Governor had mentioned during a courtesy visit of the Araromi Obu in Council that the NPA team would soon be in the state for assessment, after which the port declaration will be done.  

In accordance with the terms of this MoU, the parties have expressed their intention to collaborate and work together on other business opportunities including setting up new conventional, renewable and hybrid power projects, including the potential to re-power existing power plants. 

Other objectives of the MoU include exploring the potential to develop oil blocks and strategic storage terminals, developing cashless solutions for internally generated revenues (IGR) on direct assessment, and any other projects of mutual interest. 

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From Engine Problem To Bird Strike, All 11 Times This April That Boeing 737-800 Could Have Crashed

Sahara Reporters - 12 April 2019 - 11:07am

On Sunday, March 10, 2019, an Ethiopian Airlines flight took off from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia en to route Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, but crashed just six minutes later, killing 149 passengers and eight crew members aboard. 

The incident was the second of the kind involving the same model of aircraft. A previous incident occurred on October 29, 2018, when a Boeing 737 Max 8 crashed in Indonesia after 12 minutes in the air, killing the 189 people on board. This time, the tragedy led to a shutdown on Boeing 737 Max by a host of countries.

What many don’t know, though, is that there have been a series of scares, according to aviation tracking website The Aviation Herald, involving one other Boeing model, the 737-800, since the March 10 incident, some of which are profiled below:

April 03, Amsterdam, Netherlands

A Transavia Boeing 737-800, registration PH-HZL performing flight HV-6109 from Amsterdam (Netherlands) to Malaga, SP (Spain), had just levelled off at FL350 about 100nm south of Amsterdam in the vicinity of Brussels (Belgium) when the crew decided to return to Amsterdam after consulting with dispatch and maintenance over a problem with the equipment cooling. The aircraft landed safely back on Amsterdam's runway 18R about 55 minutes after departure.

The aircraft remained on the ground for about 1.5 hours, then departed again and reached Malaga with a delay of 2.5 hours.

April 04, Vancouver, Canada

A United Boeing 737-800, registration N76519 performing flight UA-618 from Vancouver, BC (Canada) to San Francisco, CA (USA), was en route at FL390 about 230nm north of Sacramento, CA (USA) when the crew decided to divert to Sacramento due to an engine (CFM56) problem. The aircraft landed safely in Sacramento about 45 minutes later.

The remainder of the flight was cancelled. The aircraft remained on the ground in Sacramento for about 9 hours, then positioned to San Francisco.

April 05, Cologne, Germany

An Eurowings Boeing 737-800, registration D-ABMV performing flight EW-592 from Cologne (Germany) to Palma Mallorca, SP (Spain) with 152 people on board, was climbing to FL370 out of Cologne about 90nm southwest of Cologne when the crew stopped the climb at about FL368 and initiated a rapid descent to FL250 due to a wheel well indication. 

The aircraft returned to Cologne for a safe landing about 55 minutes after departure. A replacement Airbus A319-100 registration D-AGWO reached Palma Mallorca with a delay of seven hours. The occurrence aircraft was still on the ground about 11.5 hours after landing.

April 05, Hamburg, Germany

A Eurowings Boeing 737-800, registration D-ABKN performing flight EW-7520 from Hamburg (Germany) to Barcelona, SP (Spain) with 174 people on board, was en route at FL370 about 30nm southwest of Stuttgart (Germany) when the crew decided to turn around and divert to Hanover (Germany) due to a failed instrument display. The aircraft landed safely in Hanover about 90 minutes after departure.

The plane was replaced, and it departed again after about 2 hours on the ground and reached Barcelona with a delay of about 3.5 hours.

April 06, Bagdogra, India

A Spicejet Boeing 737-800, registration VT-SGH performing flight SG-462 from Bagdogra to Chennai (India), was climbing out of Bagdogra in thunderstorms when the aircraft received some hail strike. The crew continued the climb to FL380 and continued to Chennai for a safe landing.

The occurrence aircraft returned to service about 42 hours after landing.

April 07, Chago, USA

A United Boeing 737-800, registration N27205 performing flight UA-848 from Chicago O'Hare, IL to Orlando, FL (USA), was climbing out of Chicago's runway 09R when the crew stopped the climb at 15,000 feet, reporting they were unable to retract the landing gear. 

They would maintain 250 KIAS and would return to Chicago. The aircraft landed safely back on Chicago's runway 28C about one hour after departure.

A replacement Boeing 737-800 registration N35236 eventually reached Orlando with a delay of 2.5 hours.

April 07 Tenerife, Spain

A Ryanair Boeing 737-800, registration EI-EMA performing flight FR-654 from Tenerife Sur Reina Sofia,CI (Spain) to Glasgow Prestwick,SC (UK), was climbing out of Tenerife's runway 07 when the the captain stopped the climb at FL250 after the first officer had become ill and became incapacitated. The captain returned the aircraft to Tenerife Sur Sofia Reina for a safe landing on runway 07 about 45 minutes after departure.

The aircraft remained on the ground for about 2 hours, then departed again with a replacement first officer and reached Prestwick with a delay of 2:40 hours. The airline reported the first officer became ill shortly after departure, the captain returned the aircraft to Tenerife where medical services took care of the first officer.

April 07, Miami, USA

An American Airlines Boeing 737-800, registration N810NN performing flight AA-318 from Miami, FL (USA) to Saint Kitts (Saint Kitts and Nevis) with 166 people on board, was in the initial climb out of Miami's runway 08R when the aircraft received a bird strike prompting the crew to stop the climb at about 5000 feet and return to Miami for a safe landing on runway 09 about 12 minutes after departure.

The FAA reported the aircraft received unknown damage, there were no injuries. A replacement Boeing 737-800 registration N894NN reached Saint Kitts with a delay of 3.5 hours.

April 08, Singapore

A Biman Bangladesh Boeing 737-800, registration S2-AHV performing flight BG-85 from Singapore (Singapore) to Dhaka (Bangladesh) with 99 people on board, was enroute at FL380 about 140nm southeast of Chittagong (Bangladesh) when the crew decided to divert to Chittagong due to the failure of the left hand engine (CFM56). 

The aircraft landed safely on Chittagong's runway 05 about 40 minutes later. The occurrence aircraft was still on the ground in Chittagong about 10 hours after landing.

April 9, Frankurt, Germany

A TuiFly Boeing 737-800, registration D-ATYI performing flight X3-6102 from Frankfurt/Main (Germany) to Hurghada (Egypt), was en route at FL350 near Podgorica (Montenegro) when NATO command launched two Italian fighter aircraft (Eurofighters) to intercept and identify the aircraft, that was not in contact with ATC at that time. 

The fighter aircraft intercepted the Boeing, identified the aircraft, and the Boeing crew was able to restore contact with ATC after which the fighter aircraft returned to their base. The Boeing continued to Hurghada for a safe landing about 2:40 hours later.

Italy's Air Force reported they were dispatched by NATO Command to intercept a TuiFly Boeing over Montenegro, which had lost radio contact with ATC.

April 09, Petrozavodsk, Russia

A Pobeda Boeing 737-800, registration VP-BPS performing flight DP-281 from Moscow Vnukovo to Petrozavodsk (Russia), was on final approach to Petrozavodsk's runway 19 when a dog "occupied" the runway prompting the crew to initiate a go around. The aircraft positioned for another approach and landed safely on runway 19 about 12 minutes later after the dog had been removed from the aerodrome.

The Ministry of Transport of Karelia, responsible for the airport operations, opened an investigation into the occurrence.

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REVEALED: Nigerian Widow Executed In Saudi Arabia Carried Drugs In Her Private Parts

Sahara Reporters - 12 April 2019 - 9:39am

Kudirat Afolabi, the Nigerian widow and mother of two executed in Saudi Arabia, carried drugs on her body, including her private parts, it has been revealed.

 

Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Relations and the Diaspora, made the revelation on Friday while spekaing with NAN.

According to Dabiri-Erewa, the clarification became necessary so as to educate the public on the circumstances leading to the execution of the Nigerian.

Afolabi was executed alongside two Pakistani men and one Yemeni man, bringing the total number of people killed by Saudi Arabia this year to 53.

There had been attempts, especially on social media, to link Afolabi’s fate with the activities of a drug syndicate operating at Malam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano, which specilizes in planting drugs in the baggage of unsuspecting travellers.

But Dabiri-Erewa said Afolabi did not belong to the list of seven who are suspected to have fallen victim of the four-man gang of hard drugs-planting syndicate.

“There are some people caught in Kano, but those they allegedly gave the drugs to are yet to face trials in Saudi," she said.

“What we can now do is to prevail on the Saudi authority that those people awaiting trials in their country are among the victims of the Kano syndicate. If Nigeria can do this, through National Drugs and Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and the Nigerian mission in Saudi Arabia, they might not even be charged to court."

On the widow, she said: "Ms Afolabi was one of those drugs were found on their bodies. They were 20 in number. They are the ones on the death roll, as drugs were found on their bodies, including their private parts.

“In their case, the Saudis do not appear to waste so much time on them. What is on social media that the lady could have been saved was incorrect. There was no way we could have done that. She was found with drugs on her body; just like the other 20."

Afer Afolabi's execution, it was revealed that another Nigerian, Saheed Sobade, was facing the prospect of death in Saudi Arabia after being nabbed with 1,183 grams of cocaine powder in Jeddah, a Saudi Arabian port city on the Red Sea and gateway for pilgrimages to the Islamic holy cities Mecca and Medina.

The Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Nigeria responded to widespread criticism of Afolabi's execution by insisting that all legal and judicial procedures were observed.

"It is well-known for all those interested in travelling to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that the penalty for drug trafficking is the death sentence and the said sentence is applied on all persons convicted without any exceptions, as long as the evidence is established against them, and this is conveyed to every person prior to his trip to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia," it said.

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Court Strikes Out Adebayo Shittu's Suit Against APC Over Exclusion From Oyo Gov Primary

Sahara Reporters - 12 April 2019 - 9:08am


 

A Federal  High Court sitting in Ibadan, Oyo State, has struck out the suit filed by Adebayo Shittu, the MInister Of Communications, against his party, the All Progressive Congress (APC) on the exclusion of his name from the list of gubernatorial aspirants in the 2019 general election over his failure to present his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) certificate.

The Oyo State chapter of the ruling party prevented Shittu from participating in its primary election because he skipped the mandatory one-year NYSC after his graduation from the Obafemi Awolowo University in 1978.

In her ruling, Justice P. I. Ajoku held that the case was struck out due to the fact that Shittu did not file the case within the time stipulated by law.

"I must first consider the provision of the Section 285 of the constituion that makes it mandatory for all pre-election matters to be filed within 14 days of occurence," she said.

"This particular case was not fixed within 14 days but outside the date. Therefore, I will not bother going into merit of the case. Having failed to satisfy the dictates of the constitution, the matter is hereby struuck out."

Reacting to the verdict, Adebayo Ojo, the defence counsel, said  that the law had taken its due course.

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Court Fails To Continue With Babachir Lawal's Fraud Trial

Sahara Reporters - 12 April 2019 - 8:40am


 

The trial of  Babachir Lawal,  former Secretary to the  Government of the Federation (SGF), and three others over alleged  N544million fraud has been halted becauseof trial judge did not show up in court.

Lawal is facing charges of corruption. He was indicted for allegedly using his companies to get contracts worth millions of naira without executing the contracts.

He was arraigned, together with Hamidu David, Suleiman Abubakar and two companies Rholavision engineering Ltd and Josmon Technologies Ltd on a 10-count charge bothering on conspiracy and fraud.

He was removed from office after he was indicted by a Senate committee which investigated the management of money meant to assist persons displaced by Boko Haram.

However, Babachir and his alleged accomplices pleaded not guilty and were granted bail in the sum of N50million.

On March 18, following the ammendment of the charge by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commisssion (EFCC), the court adjourned the case to April 11.

However, the court did not sit for the proceeding due to the absence of Justice Jude Okeke, the trial judge.

Following the consensus of both the prosecution and defend counsel, the court fixed May 23 as a new  date for the hearing of case.

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Leftists On ‘Tribalism’: 70 Years Ago By Edwin Madunagu

Sahara Reporters - 12 April 2019 - 7:03am


At the beginning it was called “tribal politics”; then it became “ethnic politics”; and, now, it is evolving into “identity politics”. But the phenomenon remains what it has always been—from colonialism to all its bourgeois successors. Sometimes it lies in low intensity—and many people forget it is there, all the time. At other times it flares up, blowing its poisonous venom everywhere, or merely raising its poisonous head-in silent warning. When the phenomenon erupted in Lagos during Elections 2019 (as it did in Elections 2015) and some Leftists vigorously confronted it in their own way and with their own weapons (through online publications and the social media), I reminded myself that exactly 70 years ago, in the same city of Lagos, a similar thing happened.

The immediate inspiration for this article comes from what youthful Nigerian Leftists, in their early and middle twenties, attempted to do about tribalism and ethnic politics in 1948. To four of these 1948 youths—Anthony Enahoro, Osita Agwuna, Habib Raji Abdallah and Oged Macauley—and their comrades, I dedicate this piece.

In late 1990, when I began the research of radical politics in Nigeria, I traveled from Lagos, where I worked in The Guardian, to Enugu to interview two older comrades: Mokwugo Okoye and S. G. Ikoku. I wanted to question them closely on two particular points made by Richard L. Sklar in his book, Nigerian political parties: Power in an emergent African nation(1963). I planned one particular question for each veteran. For Okoye, the question was on the reported radical opposition of young Nigerian Leftists to ethnic politics in 1948; and for Ikoku, it was on the manner of dispersal of these same militant nationalists and Leftists into bourgeois political formations a couple of years later. But we are restricting ourselves, in this essay, to only one of the questions: the one I posed to Comrade Mokwugo Okoye.

To re-formulate the question I posed to Okoye, I need to summarise the relevant stories as told by Richard Sklar in the sections “The Ibo and Yoruba nationality movements” and “Zikism and radicalism,” both covering pages 64 to 84 of the book. Before I departed for Enugu, I also consulted James S. Coleman’s book, Nigeria: Background to nationalism, particularly chapter 13, “The rise and fall of militant nationalism” and most particularly, the 6-page section “The Zikist Movement (1946-1950)”. And before then I had discussed with another senior comrade, Ayodele Curtis Joseph. My research at that point of departure had led to me to provisional interrogation of several of Richard’s findings and conclusions. 

Richard Sklar had written: “The Zikists of (1946-1950) were angry young men of post war Nigeria (that is post-Second World War colonial Nigeria). They were inspired by a patriotic idealism that could not be reconciled with the tribalistic and self-seeking tendencies of the middle-class nationalists to whom they looked for leadership. Their alternative to tribalism, regionalism, and gradualism was a militant program of positive action to which they gave the name Zikism” (emphasis mine).  The philosophy of Zikism, I may add, was originally inspired by the advocacies and activities of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe. But like left Hegelians who rapidly outgrew Hegel and Hegelianism in radical thought, the Zikists rapidly outgrew Azikiwe and the NCNC in militant nationalist consciousness.

Inaugurated in Lagos in February, 1946, the Zikist movement became a nationwide organization within two years. Its leadership in mid-life included Kolawole Balogun (its first president), MCK Ajuluchukwu, Abiodun Aloba, Nduka Eze, Habib Raji Abdallah, Osita Agwuna, Oged Macauley, Mokwugo Okoye, etc. The movement formally joined the NCNC, not as a youth wing, but as a group member.

Then came the last quarter of 1948, a momentous 3-month period in the history of militant nationalism in Nigeria. In his narrative, Sklar said: “In 1948 leaders of the Zikist Movement decided that a revolutionary political drive was required to stem the rising tide of tribalism and revitalize the NCNC”. (Sklar, page 74). The “revolutionary political drive” included the series of lectures and rallies organized by the Zikist Movement in Lagos between October and November, 1948. Prominent among them were the lecture, “A call for revolution”, delivered by Osita Agwuna and chaired by Anthony Enahoro on October 27 and “A call for positive action” delivered by Habib Raji Abdallah 11 days later, on November 7, 1948.

Osita Agwuna’s lecture was essentially a call for rebellion against the colonial power. He asked the people to stop paying tax to the colonial government and start paying it to the NCNC which he described as the new “People’s Provisional Government.” Both Enahoro and Agwuna were arrested and charged with sedition. Raji Abdallah, the president of the movement, declared in his speech that he was a “free citizen of Nigeria, holding no allegiance to any foreign government and bound by no law other than Nigerian native law and the law of nations.” He reiterated Agwuna’s crucial proposal, namely, “pay no more tax to this (colonial) government because if you pay, they use that money to perpetuate their domination over you.” He was arrested and charged with sedition. So were nine more Zikists. The movement responded by distributing copies of “A call for revolution” across the country. The Zikists had achieved their immediate aim: they averted an ethnic war!

According to Sklar, Abdallah refused to enter a plea and was jailed for two years. Agwuna challenged the authority of the colonial court to try him. He was jailed for three years. Enahoro was jailed for six months. Oged Macauley (the son of Herbert Macauley) and Fred Anyiam were each jailed for a year. Nduka Eze was acquitted. He was thereafter appointed by the movement to act for Abadallah, the jailed president. Less than a year later, in November 1949, Leftists and militant nationalists went again into battle against the colonial power—but now over the police shooting of several coal miners at Iva Valley, Enugu. Many more militants, including Nduka Eze and Mokwugo Okoye, acting president and secretary general of the Zikist Movement respectively were arrested and sent to prison. 

Nothing in this entire narrative—as exciting as it was—would have taken me from Lagos to Enugu in late 1990 if not the issue of Sklar’s report of youthful Leftists’ intervention in the reported upsurge of “tribalism” and “ethnic politics” in Lagos in late 1948 and the dispersal of the militant nationalists and Leftists into bourgeois political formations after their tribulations of (1948-1951). Mokwugo Okoye was the substantive or Acting General Secretary of the Zikist Movement at the time of the movement’s first uprising (1948) and second uprising (1949).

On getting to Okoye, I put the question to him directly. He confirmed Sklar’s reports, but gave further details. A particular detail he supplied to me was that when Leftists discovered that young people were buying off matchets from Lagos markets for an ethnic war, they (Leftists) mobilized funds and tried to clear off matchets from the markets. On my return to Lagos, I confirmed Okoye’s detail with Curtis Joseph. Thus, militant nationalists and Leftists responded to the dangerous upsurge of ethnic politics in Lagos 70 years ago, first, by diverting the attention of the nation and the fighters politically and ideologically to revolutionary rallies, lectures, campaigns and agitations; and then by practically frustrating ethnic mobilization through the removal of the weapons of warfare from the market. 

These were revolutionary interventions with the weapons and methods that were available. And these were adequate, for history rarely poses questions which revolutionaries of that age cannot resolve with materials and methods available or can be developed from what is available. The development of a coherent and consistent revolutionary response to contemporary ethnic or “identity” politics is what is required of the present generation of the Nigerian Left.

 

Madunagu, mathematician and journalist, writes from Calabar, Cross River State.

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EXCLUSIVE: Gunmen Attack Ajimobi’s Boys While Moving N357m Out Of His Residence

Sahara Reporters - 12 April 2019 - 7:03am

There is confusion in the Oyo State government following the loss of a sum of N357million while it was being conveyed to some banks in the Ibadan, capital of the state, SaharaReporters can report.

The money was moved out of the Oluyole residence of Governor Abiola Ajimobi and his wife Florence, but those conveying the money had not reached any of their destinations when they were  attacked by unknown gunmen, who made away with the money.

SaharaReporters understands that the man who drove the vehicle, an old man known as ‘Baba Obe’, is a trusted hand, as he has been around the Ajimobi family for decades. In fact, he drove Ajimobi’s father, who was once a member of the Old Western Region House of Assembly, for a long time in his lifetime. These days, he drives Ajimobi's last born. 

“He was just drafted in to do this,” said a source familiar with the occurrence.

“The money was moved out in a Toyota Hiace bus. They were going to deposit some of it in Access Bank and the other in Heritage Bank, but they were attacked on Ring Road, just before the roundabout where a road leads to Iyaganku and the other to Apata. Everything happened between 7:20am and 7:35am.”

SaharaReporters understands that the man detailed to oversee the movement of the money, simply identified as ‘Semiu’, was wounded during the attack, his head hit with a gun; and that the money was passed on to her by Damola, a personal assistant to the Governor’s wife who is also the daughter of Segun Bolarinwa, Special Adviser to the Governor on Security. 

Semiu has since been arrested, especially as the Oyo government hierarchy believe that only an insider could have known that the money was being moved out.

When SaharaReporters contacted Olugbenga Fadeyi, spokesman of the Police in Oyo State, to ask if he was aware of any robbery incident at Ring Road, he said he wasn’t. But he asked for an hour to find out. One hour later, Fadeyi confirmed that no such official report had been made.

“It is possible that there was a robbery but if no official report was made, we won’t know,” he said.

The Oyo State government has been in the news lately for unpleasant reasons relating to shady movement of funds.

In March, part of over N1billion moved out of the State House by Ajimobi between the night of Friday 22 and Saturday 23 was confirmed missing.

Two days later, SaharaReporters reported that Ajimobi suspended Niyi Ajao, his Special Adviser on Information and Communication Technology (ICT), without pay for mismanaging election campaign funds.

Only last week, Godwin Obode, former Special Assistant on Youth and Student Matters to Ajimobi, was arrested by men of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (F-SARS) following his refusal to return the N18.5million he received from the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo State for the general election but did not spend.

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BREAKING: Saraki Publicly Releases Details Of National Assembly's 2018 Budget

Sahara Reporters - 12 April 2019 - 4:52am

Bukola Saraki, President of the Senate, has publicly released the details of National Assembly’s 2018 budget.

Saraki took the step on his Twitter handle on Friday, one day after meeting with officials of tech-finance advocacy organisation, BudgIT.

He tweeted: “Dear @BudgITng:

“Find the details of the 2018 Budget of the National Assembly here: http://nass.gov.ng/document/download/10247 …

“This is in accordance with the commitment of the leadership of the 8th National Assembly to accountability and transparency. #OpenNASS.”

Dear @BudgITng:

Find the details of the 2018 Budget of the National Assembly here: https://t.co/Gbbd1vPXWF

This is in accordance with the commitment of the leadership of the 8th @NASSNigeria to accountability and transparency. #OpenNASS https://t.co/IUVjpntfK9

— The Senate President (@SPNigeria) April 12, 2019

Since 2015, BudgIT has consistently demanded that the annual allocations of the National Assembly be made public.

On Thursday, it gave a hint that his could happen soon, tweeting: “Saraki, yesterday at a dialogue session with BudgIT on appropriation process and constituency projects vowed that making the National Assembly appropriation public is now a permanent policy.”

More to follow...

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University Of Ibadan Rusticates Ojo Aderemi, Its Last Known SUG President, For Four Semesters

Sahara Reporters - 12 April 2019 - 4:23am

Ojo Aderemi, the last known President of the Students Union Government (SUG) of the University of Ibadan (UI), has been rusticated for four semesters by the management of the institution.

The decision was sealed at Wednesday’s sitting of the Student Disciplinary Committee (SDC), where the letters were handed over to him.

SaharaReporters understands that Ojo, a 300L student of the Department of History, Faculty of Arts, was accussed of conducting an illegal congress of the union, leading a protest and breaking the glass of an office while a lecturer was inside — allegations that were denied by Ojo.

When SaharaReporters sought Ojo’s comments, he said: “The allegations were that I conducted an illegal congress, that we protested and that I said the VC victimized some students who were suspended during my inauguration speech. Those were the allegations. And also they said during the protest that a glass got broken and a lecturer was inside the office when the glass was broken and he was traumatised; well, that's unconnected with the protest.

“I've said that before and there was really no objection that was raised that the congress was not illegal. We wrote the Students Representative Council (SRC), it went through the process. So I really don’t know...”

SaharaReporters contacted Mr. Olatunji Oladejo, the university’s Director of Public Communication for comments, but he said he had been indisposed for a while. Therefore, he referred our correspondent to Professor Titilayo Ajuwape, the Dean of Student Affairs (DSA).

Ajuwape did not answer calls to his two telephone numbers. When he eventually replied a text message to one of those numbers, all he did was direct us to the same Public Relations Officer who referred us to him.

However, speaking with SaharaReporters, another professor at the university, who asked not to be named, expressed surprise that at the SDC sitting of Wednesday, the VC was still “visibly angry” even though the protest happened two years ago. 

“The VC was visibly angry when Ojo’s matter came up on Wednesday. I mean, this was a case that had been on for almost two years now. Then he was still very angry, literally shaking. And I was just wondering, ‘is this matter bigger than this’?

“I can tell you that VC actually wanted to expel OJo; and he would have, were it not for the appeal of council members.”

Ojo was elected President of UI's SUG on April 29, 2017, and was sworn in on May 8. The protest happened on May 29 and the union was suspended on May 30, meaning he only lasted three weeks and a day in office. 

The University of Ibadan as a track record of stifling student voices. Notably, there hasn’t been a union since the body was suspended in 2017.

The union led by Ojo itself was only approximately five years old, as it was suspended from the early 2000s till 2010 when Professor Isaac Adewole emerged VC (though a President didn’t emerge until 2012), meaning some generations of students passed through the university without enjoying that particular freedom of association.

In 2018, the university rusticated Kunle Adebajo, one of the most brilliant student journalists ever to have emerged from the school, for two semesters. Adebajo’s offence was a harmless and indeed factual criticism of the university’s practice of painting halls of residence under the guise of renovation, without an upgrade in quality that is commensurate with the declared millions of naira in costs.

Adebajo’s rustication was roundly condemned by numerous alumni and alumnae of the institution. 

 

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Assange's Arrest As Chilling Consequences For Investigative Journalism, Says CPJ

Sahara Reporters - 12 April 2019 - 2:05am


The Committee to Protect Journalists has expressed deep concerneds by the US prosecution of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Authorities in the United Kingdom arrested Assange on Thursday morning at the Ecuadoran Embassy as part of an extradition agreement with the US, according to a statement by the US Department of Justice.

The statement said Assange faces a single count of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion. The charge relates to Assange's interactions with Chelsea Manning, a former US Army intelligence analyst who was convicted under the Espionage Act for leaking classified information to WikiLeaks and spent seven years in prison. According to the indictment, Assange allegedly offered to help Manning break a password to a secure government database.

The indictment does not explicitly charge Assange for publication, a move that would have wide-ranging press freedom implications, but it does construe his interactions with Manning as part of a criminal conspiracy. "It was part of the conspiracy that Assange encouraged Manning to provide information and records from departments and agencies of the United States," count 20 of the indictment states.

"The potential implications for press freedom of this allegation of conspiracy between publisher and source are deeply troubling," said Robert Mahoney, Deputy Director of the Committee to Protect Journalists. 

"With this prosecution of Julian Assange, the US government could set out broad legal arguments about journalists soliciting information or interacting with sources that could have chilling consequences for investigative reporting and the publication of information of public interest."

The arrest took place after the Ecuadoran Embassy withdrew asylum protections from Assange. Ecuadoran President Lenin Moreno said on Twitter that the decision was made because of Assange's "repeated violations to international conventions and daily-life protocols".

Assange took refuge in the Ecuadoran Embassy in 2012 while facing questioning related to accusations against him for sexual assault in Sweden. Assange denied those accusations and argued that arrest in Sweden or the UK would lead to his extradition to the US where he would face prosecution for his publishing activities.

CPJ has long raised concerns about the legal implications for a prosecution of Assange, primarily related to legal theories that he could be prosecuted under the Espionage Act. In 2010, CPJ wrote a letter urging the DOJ not to prosecute WikiLeaks under the Espionage Act for publishing activities. In 2018, CPJ published a blog arguing that conspiracy charges against Assange could set a dangerous precedent.

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Turn Over al-Bashir To International Criminal Court, Amnesty International Tells Sudan

Sahara Reporters - 12 April 2019 - 12:42am


Amnesty International has advised the Sudanese Government to immediately hand over former President Omar al-Bashir, to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to stand trial for his crimes against humanity.

Al-Bashir was declared wanted by ICC in 2005 for war crimes and genocide in Darfur, Sudan.

The ICC had issued two arrest warrants in 2009 and 2010 on al-Bashir, making him the first ever sitting head of state to be declared wanted by an international court.

Speaking after the removal of al-Bashir by the Sudanese Army, Kumi Naidoo, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, congratulated the people of Sudan and urged the Sudan Defense Minister, Awad Mohammed Ibn Auf, to turn over al-Bashir to ICC.

Naidoo said: “On this historic day for Sudan, the world must first and foremost recognize the unique courage, creativity and bravery Sudanese people have shown in demanding their rights.

“Today’s events should also serve as a wake-up call to leaders around the world who think they can get away with denying people their basic rights.

“But we must not forget that justice is long overdue. Omar al-Bashir is wanted for some of the most odious human rights violations of our generation, and we need to finally see him held accountable.

"The Sudanese authorities should now turn al-Bashir and three others over to the International Criminal Court so that the victims of these unspeakable crimes can see that justice is done.

“While many Sudanese people will be delighted by the end of Omar al-Bashir’s deeply repressive 30-year rule, we are alarmed by the raft of emergency measures announced today.

“Sudan’s military authorities should ensure that emergency laws are not used to undermine people’s rights. Instead, they must now consign to history the assault on human rights that marked al-Bashir’s 30 years in power.

“The transitional authorities must take all necessary measures to facilitate a peaceful transfer of power in Sudan. That means respecting the rights to freedom of expression and assembly and ultimately ending an era of bloodshed and oppression in the country."

He also called for domestic accountability for crimes under international law committed over the last three decades, adding that those suspected of crimes must be brought to justice in fair trials but not subject to the death penalty.

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NLC Gives Buhari Fresh Ultimatum To Sign New Minimum Wage Bill Into Law

Sahara Reporters - 12 April 2019 - 12:40am


The leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has expressed worry over the delay by President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the new minimum wage bill.

The bill, which seeks the payment of N30,000 as minimum wage to civil servants, was passed by the National Assembly and is awaiting the assent of the President.

In an interview with NAN, Peter Ozo-Eson, the NLC General Secretary, said the President has held onto the bill for too long.

He said Nigerian workers are eagerly anticipating the approval of the bill by the President, as it will improve the standard of living in the country.

“We had thought that given all processes before arriving at that point, the long delays in setting up a tripartite committee, the long period before the tripartite committee to now finalise and all the debates that had gone on, the president would have signed the bill into law,” he said.

Ozo-Eson, however, told the President to sign the bill before the celebration of the 2019 May Day, an annual day to celebrate workers in Nigeria.

He said: “We thought that this was something Mr. President would assent to very quickly, because as we had earlier indicated, we would want this implementation to be before May.

“Our position is to call on Mr. President to, without further delay, assent to the New National Minimum Wage Bill, so that workers can start to enjoy the new minimum wage implementation before May Day.”
 

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Remove Fuel Subsidy, Use Funds To Build Hospitals, Support Education, IMF Tells Nigeria

Sahara Reporters - 12 April 2019 - 12:33am


The International Monetary Fund (IMF)  has advised the Nigeria government to remove fuel subsidy and direct the money to the provision of social amenities for the country.

Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of IMF, gave the advice during a press conference at the ongoing joint annual spring meetings with the World Bank in Washington DC.

Lagarde stated that with the low revenue the country is generating, removal of fuel subsidy would enable it to have enough funds to provide the social needs of the people.

Lagarde said: “I will give you the general principle. For various reasons and as a general principle, we believe that removing fossil fuel subsidies is the right way to go. If you look at our numbers from 2015, it is no less than about $5.2tn that is spent on fuel subsidies and the consequences thereof. And the Fiscal Affairs Department has actually identified how much would have been saved fiscally but also in terms of human lives if there had been the right price on carbon emission as of 2015. Numbers are quite staggering.

“I would add as a footnote as far as Nigeria is concerned that, with the low revenue mobilisation that exists in the country in terms of tax to GDP, Nigeria is amongst the lowest. A real effort has to be done in order to maintain a good public finance situation for the country. And in order to direct investment towards health, education, and infrastructure.

“If that was to happen, then there would be more public spending available to build hospitals, to build roads, to build schools, and to support education and health for the people."

She added that the continuous payment of fuel subsidy could lead to a lack of social protection safety net for the people.

“Now, how this is done is the more complicated path because there has to be a social protection safety net that is in place so that the most exposed in the population do not take the brunt of the removal of subsidies principle. So that is the position we take.”
 

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NECO Postpones Exam For 14 Days Due To Low Registration

Sahara Reporters - 12 April 2019 - 12:28am


The National Examinations Council (NECO) has been forced to postpone the 2019 examination due to low registration of candidates.

The examination board shifted the registration deadline by 14 days to enable more people to register for the examination.

According to Azeez Sani, Head of Information and Public Relations Division, 70,720 candidates registered for the examination.

Sani said: “The National Examinations Council has postponed the 2019 National Common Entrance Examination into unity schools till April 27. The re-scheduling was to give states with low registration of candidates the opportunity to register for the examination.

“A total of 70,720 candidates have so far registered for the examination."

Sani said candidates who had already registered are to download the new examination time table from NECO’s website.
 

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Lawmaker Wants Killer Herdsmen Labelled Terrorist Group

Sahara Reporters - 12 April 2019 - 12:25am


Mark Gbillah, the lawmaker representing Gwer-East/Gwer-West Federal Constituency of Benue, has again urged President Muhammadu Buhari to declare killer herdsmen as a terrorist group.

The lawmaker also gave Buhari a 48-hour ultimatum to address Nigerians on the spate of killings and insurgency, or he would be seen as incapable of ending insurgency in the country.

Speaking on the floor of the Lower Chamber of the legislature, Gbillah spoke on the incessant killings by bandits, herdsmen and terrorist groups in some Northern parts of Nigeria and decried the inability of the President, who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, to stop and arrest the perpetrators.

He claimed that the inactions of the President has further emboldened the bandits to continue their deadly acts.

He said: “The House is alarmed at the brazen nature of the attacks by the herdsmen and alleged bandits who attack these communities with impunity, brazenly clad in military fatigues and audibly communicating with each other in Fulani, as reported by eyewitness accounts from the recent attacks in Kaduna.

“Obviously emboldened by the inability of the Nigerian Armed Forces to curb their activities, these killers have gradually progressed from attacking remote villages at night to sacking whole towns in broad daylight, displacing residents and occupying affected communities.

“We have no other option than to directly engage the President and Commander In Chief of the Armed Forces who has primary responsibility for the security and welfare of every Nigerian citizens.”

He gave Buhari 48 hours ultimatum to address the country and order the armed forces to put a stop to the killings of innocent Nigerians by bandits.

The House voted in support of the motion and concluded that the President would be seen as incapable of ending insecurity in the country if he fails to act within the stipulated time.

He said: “President Buhari should address the House and the nation within 48 hours on his inability and the inability of his administration since inception to declare the killer herdsmen as terrorists to enable commensurate action against them by the armed forces; the inability of the armed forces under his watch to stop the recurring deaths of scores of innocent Nigerians annually from systematic attacks by killer herdsmen and alleged bandits and the gradual occupation of affected communities by these herdsmen, despite countless assurances and statements by him promising to stop the attacks.

“The immediate measures he intends to employ as the C-In-C to provide the armed forces, including the Police with the required resources (equipment, welfare, etc) to confront and dislodge the killer herdsmen from their hideouts.”

An ad-hoc committee to meet with the Presidency and Chief of Defence Staff and also organize a public hearing to determine permanent solutions to insecurity was set up.

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